Monday, March 06, 2006

Out in the cold.

The other handwashing shoe has dropped, so to speak. I was called into a meeting and was formally asked if I would wash my hands. The statement was made in such a way that, if I refused, I would be fired on the spot.

The Site Manager brought up that Pennsylvania is an "at-will" employment state and I can be let go at any time for any reason. So, they can use a nonexistent law to punish me and hold up another convenient law to let me know that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

This isn't about handwashing. I am not some back-to-nature, anti-fluoridation, neo-Luddite barbarian choosing to be filthy to make some sort of societal statement. I simply don't always stop by the sink on my way out of the rest room. A lot of people do it. I've seen them. But I've done nothing illegal and apparently all those other people haven't been called on the carpet. So, it's not about cleanliness or hygiene. It's politics. It's The Bank flexing it's contractual muscles against its Help Desk minions. The other Bank employees on the floor have regularly made it clear that we are not a part of the team. We are outsiders who, 7 years ago, usurped the status quo by replacing the previous Bank-run Help Desk.

And I am a convenient target. Someone made a stink when I came onto the floor in my biking gear forcing be to change in the bathroom on another floor. This handwashing accusation based on a lie about health codes is just another strike. Next time, it won't matter what the accusation is. It won't matter whether there is any truth to the matter or even if it's relevant at all, I know that my employers will do absolutely nothing to defend me. I will be sacrificed.

On the ironic side, I've read a new article that The Corporation isn't doing so well, either. They have missed another SEC filing deadline. They've gotten one more extension from NASDAQ to the end of the month or risk being delisted. Also, the CEO is in a bit of a tussle as his estranged wife is initiating a lawsuit charging him and his family with mismanagement, self-dealing and abusive use of corporate assets (including tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements for strip club visits). In another suit, she charged her phone provider with allowing her husband access to her phone records. She also threw in charges that he beat her and forced her to engage in deviant sexual acts.

So, here I am having my career threatened for not washing my hands while the Corporate Overlord himself is raping both the company and his wife. And while he has the best lawyers his half-million dollar a year salary can buy, I have no recourse whatsoever. I haven't gotten a raise in four years so that the Corporate Overlord can spend the cash on hookers.

Welcome to the American Dream.

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